According to the statement the 28-year-old dad, later identified as Damian, was taken into custody and later charged with battery resulting in the death of a person under age 14 in connection with the death of his 1-year-old daughter Amaya. Prosecutors said the father reportedly pulled his 1-year-old daughter by the arm, before picking her up and giving her a bear hug with her nose and mouth pressed into his chest, placing one of his hands on the back of her neck and squeezing while she gasped for air.
According to the statement, the 1-year-old baby died with ligaments torn from her neck and a swollen br-in due to lack of oxygen. The father brought his 1-year-old child to the hospital and told doctors that she had trouble breathing. Hospital staff noticed that the baby’s injuries are suspicious and immediately notified the authorities. The child was admitted in the intensive care unit. She remained in the ICU for six days before she succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead. The hospital’s Child Protection Team reportedly determined that her injuries could have been caused by being violently shaken.
Hospital staff also told investigators that Amaya suffered severe swelling of her brain that was likely caused by a lack of oxygen as well as ligament injuries to her neck. The 1-year-old child also had multiple visible scratches on her face. During an interview with investigators, the father initially said that his daughter was fussy all day after she woke up, then suddenly started having difficulty breathing and became unresponsive. The father also told investigators that Amaya was brought to the same hospital several weeks earlier because she had fallen and struck her head on the carpet. According to the police officials, he tried to explain that his daughter’s injuries were caused by that fall, per the report. The victim’s mother was at work on the day her daughter sustained the fatal injuries.
In another, follow-up interview, the father reportedly told investigators that the day before she was hospitalized, he had become frustrated with his 1-year-old daughter. He then pulled the child by the arm, picked her up, and gave her a bear hug with her nose and mouth pressed into his chest while placing one of his hands on the back of her neck and squeezing while she gasped for air, L&C reported. Doctors told investigators that the child’s injuries, particularly the lack of oxygen to her brain, could have been caused by the bear hug.